It is a brand-new year, and time for new beginning. At Vytaliving, we are helping you to make 2022 your best year of wellbeing yet. For the full month of January, we will be releasing handy guides for boosting your mental and physical health. In the words of Novak Djokovic - “We only have one life and one body to care of, and we better do it right.’
This article will look at the benefits of exercise to mental and physical wellbeing. Featuring products from the Vytaliving Fitness Collection. Most people at this time of year take up exercise for the purpose of weight loss, although we will briefly cover this in today’s article, it’s important to consider exercise as a health promoting activity as well. One 2018 study even reported the following:
‘Physical activity also has a significant role, in many cases comparable or superior to drug interventions, in the prevention and management of >40 conditions such as diabetes mellitus, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, Alzheimer disease, and arthritis.’
One way to keep your bones strong, dense and healthy is to take part in regular exercise. As we age, and if we lead a sedentary lifestyle our bones can lose strength. Our bones are living tissues that are constantly replenishing themselves. Exercise is recommended to encourage strong and dense replenishment of bone tissue (osteogenesis). The type of recommended activity is weight-bearing exercise. This means that the force of your whole body is bearing down on the skeleton, compacting and increasing density. Types of weight-bearing exercise include walking, running, tennis, dance, football, rugby, weightlifting, skipping, stair climbing etc. Please bear in mind, exercise such as cycling, and swimming have their benefits but are not considered ‘weight-bearing exercise.’
If you have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis you are recommended to take part in light wear bearing exercise under the supervision of your healthcare practitioner. Studies show that for osteoporotic patients, walking is not enough to stimulate osteogenesis, however, will help to slow the loss of bone tissue.
It is a well-known fact that repeated lifting of weighted objects can increase muscle strength. Not only is it nice to be strong, having strong muscles can decrease the risk of falling, in addition to, maintaining joint stability. One study took healthy males and females aged 60-80 years and enrolled them in a 42-week exercise programme. The group was split into 2 groups, a control and exercise group. After 6 week, and 12 weeks there was a mean increase of 65% in walking endurance and a 17.8% improvement in treadmill walking. Finally, there was a 57% increase in stair climbing, although in this case there was no significant difference between exercise and control group. Muscle strength activity includes body weight exercise, weightlifting, resistant band work, incline walking, circuit exercises and yoga.
A risk factor for poor cardiovascular health is a sedentary lifestyle. A relationship has been found between an increase in exercise and improved cardiovascular health such as lower blood pressure, decreased heart rate, better blood flow, and increased vascularisation and oxygenation of the body. Lastly, a connection has been found between a decreased risk of cardiovascular events such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
A study in the American Heart Association Journal and reported by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) looked at 13 studies and found a 19% decrease in high blood pressure in those who exercised more than 4 hours a week. The types of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise you may like to try include, running, cycling, walking, swimming or cycling. A study on people aged over 60 years found that those who reported doing less physical activity had a 27% increase in the risk of cardiovascular events. Whereas those who increased their activity levels had an 11% reduction in cardiovascular disease.
Over the past 5-10 years we have adopted a greater understanding of the relationship between exercise and mental wellbeing. Exercise has become a recommended form of preventive medicine for mental health disorders. For example, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence encourages people with mild to moderate depression to take part in ~3, 45-minute exercise sessions a week, over 10 to 14 weeks.
Exercise has been shown to increase happy hormones such as endorphins and serotonin that gives the body that ‘feel good’ feeling. In addition, exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood as well as improving self-esteem, cognitive function, sleep, better stress management, reduced tiredness and increased mental alertness.
A great way to get started is to choose something you genuinely enjoy, rather than exercise you feel you ‘should’ be doing. If you hate going to the gym, then try a home workout. If you hate solo exercise, join a group sport.
Weight Loss & Management
Current research has found that exercise is not the main driver of weight loss, however, it is essential for weight management and long-term sustainability. If you are looking for the answer to weight loss, predominantly, focus on your diet. Use exercise to sustain that weight loss, and promote overall wellbeing.
Firstly, only 10-30% of daily energy expenditure is associated with physical activity. This means the normal rationale of ‘exercise burns off excess calories’, doesn’t equate. The overriding factor being it's hard to create a calorie deficit through exercise alone. A Dr of Obesity, Yoni Freedhoff (reported by VOX) stated the following:
‘By preventing cancers, improving blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar, bolstering sleep, attention, energy and mood, and doing so much more, exercise has indisputably proven itself to be the world’s best drug – better than any pharmaceutical product any physician could ever prescribe. Sadly though, exercise is not a weight-loss drug, and so long as we continue to push exercise primarily (and sadly sometimes exclusively) in the name of preventing or treating adult or childhood obesity.’
Studies looking at weight loss maintenance took 202 overweight participants and reviewed them over a 20-month period. They found that people who had an energy expenditure of over 2500kcal/week had less than half the weight regain of the participants who had an energy expenditure of less than 2500kcal/week, 2.9kg vs 6kg respectively.
Passive vs Active Exercise
Truthfully, any exercise is better than no exercise at all. The traditional view of exercise looks like hours sweating in the gym, an aerobic class or a running group. However, this isn’t always possible for all groups of people. Exercise can be made suitable for those who are less mobile or able-bodied.
Vytaliving prides itself on catering for both passive and active exercise, these definitions can be found below:
Active- motion created by voluntary contraction and relaxation of the controlling muscles.
Passive- motion is created with the help of someone or a device to contract and relax the controlling muscles.
Active exercise includes running, walking, lifting weights, and playing group sports. Some Vytaliving products you may like to try, include the Abcerciser Workout Jockey, Elliptical Strider or Stepper by Vytaliving. Whereas passive exercise may include working alongside a physiotherapist or machine to mimic activity or range of movement. This type of exercise is suitable for people with illness, injury or reduced mobility. Vytaliving products you make like to try include our best-selling Sitwalk the Legex or our Vibroshaper.
Shop Here for Active Exercise Options (HYPERLINK TO FITNESS COLLECTIONS)
Shop Here for Passive Exercise Options (HYPERLINK TO LEGEX)
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